CAN'T STOP LOVING YOU
Zebra, May 2001, 6.99, 352 pp.
In 1986 Strasburg, New York, teenage college student Mariel Rowan gives birth to a girl. Her parents back in Rockton, Missouri know nothing of their granddaughter's life as the dance scholarship student hid the truth from them. Her boyfriend Noah Lyons offers marriage because he personally knows how devastating it is on a child to be raised by a single parent. Mariel rejects his offer and does what she feels is best for her beloved infant by giving her up for adoption.
Fifteen years later, an e-mail from Amber Steadman, claiming to be her daughter, stuns Mariel. She travels to New York to meet Amber, but upon arriving in Valley Falls, she learns the teen is missing. Unable to turn to anyone, Mariel contacts Noah for the first time in years. He quickly joins her in the search for their daughter. As they panic over the child they once gave away, Noah and Mariel fall in love, but finding Amber remains the top priority for both of them.
CAN'T STOP LOVING YOU is an exciting relationship drama that readers will enjoy. The lead couple is attractive and charming, but because the story line centers on the search and their fears for Amber, sparks between them are limited, which adds to a more authentic feel to the plot. Also adding realism is the fact that the Steadmans are not ogres. Instead they are caring, worried middle class parents struggling with a teen. Though Amber's finding of Mariel seems too easy, the audience will gain much pleasure from Janelle Taylor's latest novel.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner